Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Daydreamer Finds a Home

Hello All,

First off, thanks so much for all the support and well wishes. We couldn't be more thrilled.

I'm Kristen, Lady Wednesday, and -believe it or not- probably the most shy one of the lot. If you've been following us thus far, you know that this week we are all discussing the theme of why do we write.

Why do I write? Hmm...Let's go back in time, shall we?

It is 1999, the world if freaking out over the dreaded Y2K computer/end of the world fiasco looming ahead, I’m stocking up on bottled water, and have just graduated college with a BA in socio-cultural anthropology. No longer in class, I am missing the intellectual stimulus of debating over just why the Naciremas are the oddest culture on earth –sorry, anthropology humor. To fill the void, I turn to decorating magazines. Oh, how I love this Art Deco look, how much would a 1920’s sideboard with ebony inlay cost? That much? Damn. The magazines are not satisfying my need for creative expression. I try writing. I’ve always liked the idea of writing. Fingers flying over the keys, words of great depth and wisdom flowing like so much wine. Except my next Great American Novel with the neo-Holden Caulfield character is not working. I get a page down at most. Even I’m bored with it. Damn.

Flash forward to spectacular sounding new job at world famous TV production company. Visions of becoming a high-powered TV producer are dancing in my head, save I’m stuck in meetings that go something like this: we’re doing one more [add meaningless subject here] show! Ten shows about [meaningless subject] are NOT enough. The public likes it, so we’ll give ‘em more, more, more! Okay, that was the highlight of the job; most of the time I’m counting the pixels on my computer screen and daydreaming. I’ve always been a dreamer. Reality does not compare. Sound familiar?

Now I am full on in my young-life crisis. I want to do something meaningful –for me- and am beginning to think I’ll never find it. In the middle of my pajama wearing, moping around the house with the odd foray to the bookstore phase, I pick up a little known book (heh) called Outlander. I was floored. I never thought a book could straddle so many genres and be so good. It was like an Alexandre Dumas book on steroids. And there were three more of them! (The series was up to Drums at that point) Five million words later (g), and I was in need of more. Only I couldn’t find any other books like Diana’s. Damn!

Then it occurs to me; this woman was obviously having fun when she wrote these books. Writing to have fun? Well, why not?

It started with a scene: a man and a woman arguing in a meadow. What was that all about? I dunno; let’s see! Then another scene, same man and woman arguing again! –what can I say, I love me some back and forth dialogue. Oh, the joy of it! Writing was like reading a book, only _I_ was in control. It was euphoric, like falling in love without the angst. Hours could go by unnoticed while I wrote. I was somewhere else, having an adventure. Ten years later and I’m still at it.

Is writing easy? No. It is a challenge. When I think of how little I knew of craft back then…shudder. But then that’s the point -in no other endeavor am I constantly learning, constantly being challenged, AND having a hell of a lot of fun in the process. After my husband and children, writing is the biggest love of my life. I cannot wait for that time of day when I get back in my chair, say hello to my trusty partner -the computer- and go off into the wild blue yonder. So, as I said in my intro…

Hello, my name is Kristen Callihan and I am a writing addict. How about you? Are you an addict too?


  1. Me, me, me!! I'm an addict. :)

    Great post! Learning all kinds o' new things!

    And I completely agree. The thing that I find so addictive about writing is that each new book I imagine/begin/putter around with has always upped the ante in some way. Each always presents some challenge I've never encountered before -- whether it be breaking out of my first person habit or a subject matter or "story telling concept" that I've never tried. I love to push myself, and if I screw up -- who cares? I had a blast doing it. And hopefully, I just might tell a few kickarse stories along the way.


  2. Yes, yes I am.

    I'm the kind of addict who falls in and out of love with their poison of choice, but the tendency is always there. One good sip, and it's back down the slippery slope to sleepless nights thinking up plot twists, and days spent talking to people in my head.

    I'm glad you found your calling in writing, because it's where you belong :)

  3. I remember that Nacirema essay from school!

  4. Great post Kristen!
    Oh my yes, that's me! An addict, fer sure! Heck, even when I think I'm done with writing, that I'll never have any more new ideas, somehow they appear... "It was euphoric, like falling in love without the angst. Hours could go by unnoticed while I wrote" and sleepless nights, fer sure. It's great to know there's others out there who wouldn't trade this life for anything!

  5. Awesome post! Am I biased because I am your sister. Nah!

    Myself I am a recovering repeat-watcher-of bad 80's movies. And am a design addict I suppose, but I could quit anytime I swear.

    Keep it up, big sis.

  6. Jen, Claire, and Deniz -Hello my fellow junkies! :) LOL on the sleepless nights. I can't tell you how many times I've slipped into bed only to find that perfect wording for a scene I've been working on suddenly pop into my mind. Nine times out of ten, I'm too tired to get up, but I loath losing those words!

  7. Deniz- Ah, so you know the Naciremas too! Bunch of crazies, aren't they? ;-)

  8. Little sis,

    Recovering addict? Ha! And anyone who can ferret out the fact that a paper is linen, or laments that Ikea has changed their font, is SO a design addict!


  9. Hey ladies, I talked about you in my blog post today. Your musing about why you write inspired me to consider the question, too.

    I think a lot of us are addicts. *g*


  10. Here's another addict!

    You know, it's surprised me that I've stuck to writing like I have. There have been times when I've decided my writing was so bad, a chimp on a typewriter could create a more compelling story- but I never gave up. Odd, that. I must really like it! (g)

    Wonderful post, Kristen.

    Rachel (firing up Word so I can get me another fix!) :-P